(The English version follows)
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One of the much criticized aspects of digital currency is that it consumes a lot of energy, but is it really what we've been told? Today's sharing provides some different perspectives on this issue.
- digital currencies do not require much energy to trade, and the energy consumption is mainly concentrated in the mining process.
- that bitcoin production halves every four years, so only looking at bitcoin mining, it consumes less and less energy; other crypto currencies of course have their own calculations.
- how we view the issue of digital currencies consuming energy depends on how we view digital currencies themselves. If we think that digital currencies are useless, then consuming even a certain amount of energy is a waste.
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- According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production, or roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Malaysia or Sweden.
- How you answer that likely depends on how you feel about Bitcoin.
- If you are one of the tens of millions of individuals worldwide using it as a tool to escape monetary repression, inflation, or capital controls, you most likely think that the energy is extremely well spent.
- Whether you feel Bitcoin has a valid claim on society’s resources boils down to how much value you think Bitcoin creates for society.
- Understanding Bitcoin’s energy consumption may not settle questions about its usefulness, but it can help to contextualize how much of an environmental impact Bitcoin advocates are really talking about making.
- In December 2019, one report suggested that 73% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption was carbon neutral, largely due to the abundance of hydro power in major mining hubs such as Southwest China and Scandinavia.
- Almost all of the energy used worldwide must be produced relatively close to its end users — but Bitcoin has no such limitation, enabling miners to utilize power sources that are inaccessible for most other applications.
- The process of oil extraction today releases significant amount of natural gas as a byproduct — energy that pollutes the environment without ever making it to the grid.
- Given the reality that oil is and will continue to be extracted for the foreseeable future, exploiting a natural byproduct of the process (and potentially even reducing its environmental impact) is a net positive.
- The vast majority of Bitcoin’s energy consumption happens during the mining process. Once coins have been issued, the energy required to validate transactions is minimal.